Harry Potter Studio Tour

Boy's dormitory

We went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour today; Girl Lacer is a massive fan (to the extent that it’s almost a problem, for two parent consults in a row now, the fact that she’s not reading widely has come up, she will happily read the Harry Potter series over and over again and her teacher reckons what will push her up to a Level 4 (she’s currently a Level 3) will be if she reads more widely, as this would influence her writing style), me and Mr. Lacer are pretty fond of the series (we’d both devoured the series eagerly before the kids were even born) and even Boy Lacer is getting into it (currently Girl Lacer is reading him Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – we have an American copy, I’d bought it to entertain myself on a flight home from JFK years ago, having previously turned my nose up a little at this book everyone was going on about, needless to say I had a very entertaining journey).

I thought the whole thing was very well organised, there is a lot of queueing to get in but once in, it’s not that crowded, ok, it’s busy but you can get close to anything you want to see easily . The tour takes ages to, although it’s only a tour as far as The Great Hall, then they let you go at your own pace and we happily spent three hours there. There are all the sets that you’d expect.

Potions class

The level of detail was amazing and I came away in awe of the craftsmanship of the people who created the sets.

Potions close up

The kids also got a chance to meet a deatheater (part of the first year anniversary celebrations of the tour) and take dueling lessons. We also got to have a green screen go at flying the flying car and flying some broomsticks.

We also saw some outside sets (there’s a great selection of vehicles) and then it was onto the creature workshop, which was fascinating.

Creature creation

Creature workshop

Then onto Diagon Alley and finally onto the model section. The amount of work that must have gone into the paper models, which the director used to work out camera angles, is gobsmacking. Here’s a model of Hogsmeade, which was one of the smaller models.

Hogsmeade Paper Model

But if the paper models weren’t inspiring enough, we rounded the corner and there was a giant (large room sized) model of the exterior of Hogwarts, which they presumably used for the camera sweeping over Hogwarts external shots.

Giant Hogwarts

Hogwarts at night

It was a long and tiring day but worth it, if only I could bring home a little bit of Harry Potter magic …

But you know what, trying and failing not to be soppy about Harry Potter, the magic of that world is always there and it is truly inspiring how one woman’s idea on a train, all those years ago, could go on to create (with the help of the thousands of behind the scenes guys) something so beautiful and lasting.

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